THE EXPERIENCE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: ESSENTIAL SERVICE ORGANISATIONS
Every global citizen experienced Covid-19, the global pandemic that has had a devastating effect on the world financially, physiologically, and psychologically. The specific, organisational, and individual levels of impact and implications of this Pandemic have been dependent on various factors – including location, level of risk, and industry.
During the various stages of the Covid-19 lockdown enforced in South Africa (and across the globe) “Essential Services” businesses remained open. While staying open meant that the potential financial risk and impact on trade and sales was mitigated for some of these organisations, the health risks and burden of extreme protection protocols exponentially increased. In addition, the cost of complying with the strict rules and regulations, and the implementation of health and safety procedures placed further strain on many of these organisations.
One such organisation is the Clive Teubes Group. Due to many of its products being key ingredients in a wide variety of pharmaceutical and food and beverage products, the Group is considered to deliver essential services and remained fully operational throughout the entire lockdown period. The Group’s subsidiaries, including Clive Teubes (Pty) Ltd and Teubes Africa CC, produce, distribute, and export quality products to both local and international markets. These products include, but are not limited to, essential oils, natural extracts, flavours and fragrances.
What protocols and procedures were implemented by the Clive Teubes Group?
- All required regulations put in place by the government were fully adhered to
- Employees were supplied with masks and all other personal protection equipment
- All staff members were provided with their own hand sanitisers and immune boosters, while larger containers of hand sanitizers were placed throughout the buildings and at all entrances
- Every person that entered the premises is tested for temperature and fills in the appropriate questionnaire
- To minimise risk, private transportation was arranged for all employees who usually use public transport, ensuring they get to work and back home safely
- The premises are continuously sanitized with an anti-viral wash as well as a fogger that is used in each office weekly
- Whenever an employee showed signs of illness the organisation paid for that employee to get tested for Covid-19, and the employee was isolated until the test feedback was received
- The Clive Teubes Group established a relationship with Ampath, which ensured swift results being received, while Ampath assisted the business by providing the correct forms and protocols, advising the Group where required
The strict adherence to the above saw to it that only one employee out of 101 tested positive since March 2020. The source of the infection was from a family member and not at the company. In this case, the business was fumigated and sterilized and all employees working at the same facility were sent for testing at company cost. Everybody tested negative and normal operations could resume.
By staying open the Clive Teubes Group had the advantage of continual work and increased sales, due to the essential nature of the product range. The organisation still faced financial pressure, however. The costs of adherence to protocols, supply of PPE, travel and sanitizing amounted to large sums. Furthermore, the import and export of product posed great difficulties, due to transport restrictions, shipping delays and closed borders – all of which affected payment dates. While the supply chain throughout the industry mostly remained operational, non-industry suppliers such as equipment suppliers were closed during lockdown, and in some cases liquidated permanently. Similarly, customers from the cosmetic and beauty industry were closed throughout levels one to three of lockdown, while some did not survive.
It can be said that the Covid 19 situation and resultant lock down was difficult and unknown terrain to traverse even for “Essential Services” companies. Guidelines on protocols to be kept were vague and business managers now had to make decisions on a daily basis, which had never had to be taken in our history. As South African restrictions start to lift there is a hope that some stability can be returned to the economy, although this will take time, strategy, and patience.
Established in 1983, the Clive Teubes Group has been producing, distributing, and exporting superior quality products to both local and international markets for more than three decades. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, its offerings include: Esters, Essential Oils, Natural Extracts, Citrus Oils, Flavours & Fragrances, Indigenous Oils, Exotic Oils, Special Extracts, and Aromatics. For more information please request a product brochure from firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.teubes.com.